Indoor to Outdoor furniture – I painted until my arm fell off

Jul 04 2016
This post may include affiliate links Click here to read my Disclosure and Copyright or, for more information on how this website collects your data, click here to view my Privacy Policy. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Hey guys, I’m so excited to share my new outdoor furniture with you today! I have a lovely and enormous deck that I will tell you all about someday when I finish it (still gotta get those pesky railings done and stain it this fall) so you’re just gonna have to believe me for now when I say its wonderful but its been a waste land since I moved in. Outdoor furniture is expensive! And it was NOT in my budget. So, I’ve been keeping an eye and ear out for something I could buy and refinish. Remember when I mentioned scoring a bunch of furniture at an estate sale a couple months ago? Yup I finally finished it for my deck!

Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy. Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy. Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.

This old stuff had SERIOUS scratches from the previous owners’ cats so, when I did end up painting it, I didn’t feel too bad about it. This is one of those situations where someday I’m going to buy myself a paint sprayer and hate myself for not buying it sooner. I did THREE coats of exterior Kilz primer on this stuff and then THREE coats of Valspar Exterior paint in the color Sooty Lashes and then another THREE coats of exterior polyurethane. I hated myself and everything involving paint brushes by the end of this lol! Here is the furniture after the second coat of primer:

Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for my deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.

Once the furniture was finished drying (on day three of endless painting) I had one major problem to solve. Out door cushions are expensive too! The real shame was that I could not use the cushions that came with the set outside as they were incredibly thick and very comfortable. However, they would become giant sponges in the rain – no go. So I had to  come up with outdoor cushions I could afford. Walmart saved the day. After endless searching on Amazon I ran into the walmart website and could not believe it – these cushions were HALF of the price of anything else I could find online! So I went to my own local walmart and, low and behold, there were four color choices and at only $14.99 a cushion I could afford them. I ended up with the green because I thought it would make an interesting mix with the blue/gray I painted the furniture and it brings out the green in the cushions of our red wicker chairs that now share the deck with this new set of outdoor furniture.

Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy. Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.

Remember my extra seating/end tables I fixed up with barn wood and spray paint? Yup this was the set of outdoor furniture I needed them for! The missing end table “Be Merry” is not far away with the red wicker chairs. I still have a ways to go on my deck but now I have some great places to sit and enjoy my back yard!

Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.Indoor painted and refinished before and afters wood working diy do it yourself furniture converted makeover to outdoor for our deck outside backyard water proof cushions


  1. July 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    What a job! They turned out wonderful! I feel the same way about painting and I can’t imagine with a set this large! Not too long ago I bought a simple, cheap, paint sprayer from Harbor Freight (2 actually) for $10 each with a coupon but, it only cost $15 I think, regularly. I don’t use it all the time but, it sure is nice to have on hand.

    • July 4, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Angie I definitely need to get myself a paint sprayer! lol! Thanks for coming by, I’ll have to look and see if I can find some that are that inexpensive.

  2. July 5, 2016 at 7:31 am

    You did a fabulous job with old sofa structure. You turned them out a set of new sofa and loved the green color of cushions.

  3. Nancy F Lambert
    July 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Awesome job, they are beautiful

  4. Carol Dammer
    July 10, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    So very happy for you. What a wonderful job and so rewarding when you are done. Again, we can not wait to see it in person!

    • July 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Carol, thank you 🙂 can’t wait for you to see everything!

  5. September 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I love this! I’ve been keeping my eye out on craigslist for something similar for a while! Love the way they turned out.

    • September 28, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you Kaylee! I almost bought a paint sprayer after this project but even after all that painting it was totally worth it!

    • Loretta Thompson
      May 15, 2019 at 6:38 am

      I bought a set yesterday at a resale shop.. perfect shape for $70.00 The cushions are perfect except 1980’s dusty blue floral…

      • May 15, 2019 at 8:23 am

        That’s awesome Loretta! I’m going to be retiring these into a seating area in my garage this summer. Never painting any wood and hoping it will last outside again in northern MN. They gave me a good three years though but I think they’ve earned a spot in the garage!

  6. September 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    What a huge undertaking, Tarah–but SO worth it. Wonderful makeover and the set looks great on your deck. Thanks for linking up your posts with us at Vintage Charm 🙂

  7. November 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    What a totally beautiful transformation!! Inspires me! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  8. November 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    This turned out so so pretty, i love the fresh colour you chose for those cushions and how they go with the rest of the furniture pieces! Lovely!

    • November 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much Katrin! I really struggled on deciding on those cushions, there were several to choose from but the green really grew on mw!

  9. November 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Wow! These turned out beautifully. I love repurposing old things into something new an useful.

  10. November 22, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Such a lovely sitting area on your deck. You’re making me wish for warm weather again, Tarahlynn! 🙂 Thank you for linking up to Funtastic Friday, Happy Thanksgiving!

    • November 22, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Kimm, I feel the same way! Winter just got here in a BIG way and I already miss summer!!

  11. Jann Olson
    November 28, 2016 at 5:59 am

    I would never have thought to do that. Love how it turned out! So cute!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  12. December 9, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve been wanting to have more ‘indoor’ style furniture in our outdoor spaces. Would love to see a follow-up post next spring or summer to see how they held up over a full year. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    • December 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks Leslie, I will definitely write a follow up!

  13. December 11, 2016 at 3:10 am

    SO cute!!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  14. December 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Tarah, this set looks gorgeous and so comfy. You always amaze me with your creativity xo

  15. December 14, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    This looks great!! I need some new furniture for my screened in porch and this has given me the inspiration I needed to get going on that! Thanks for sharing at the Family Joy Blog Link Party this week!!

    • December 14, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Melissa, some old wooden furniture would be just perfect for a screened in porch! Thanks for coming by!!

  16. December 24, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Such a great idea!

  17. February 3, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Wow how creative, and How awesome to be able to do that. I genuinely would b happier paying someone to do it all for me 🙂 Must be therapeutic 🙂 Cheers for sharing at the pitstop

    • February 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Hey Julie, thanks for coming by and commenting! Someday I’m going to get myself a paint sprayer so projects like this one won’t be so dang labor intensive!

  18. February 23, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Love!!!!!! Great idea, and they look wonderful on your deck. I’m sure you will enjoy them for a long, long time!!

    • February 23, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you so much Kathy!! Can’t wait for spring so we can enjoy them again!

  19. March 14, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Hey Tarah,

    It all looks brand new. Awesome! Such a great idea Tarah. Just love all of it. Surely, you’ll enjoy to have those chairs. Thanks for sharing your beautiful ideas.


  20. Bekah
    March 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Do you leave these outside? How do they hold up?

    • March 29, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Hey Bekah! Its been a year now and I wish I had thrown a tarp over them (our winters are brutal here in northern MN!) The coffee table and chair have almost no wear and tear but the sofa lost a little paint in a couple of places 🙁 But, all in, I would say they definitely survived pretty well considering!

  21. Annemarie
    April 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Wonderful job. Thanks for showing and telling how to. I recently picked up a dining table and chairs that have already been painted in some horrific colors and covered in mildew…
    Hope to turn it into a lovely outdoor eating set. I do not mind painting, but that was a lot of coats for priming.

    • April 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      That’s great! Good luck on your pieces!

  22. April 28, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    What a great idea… tons of work, but a great idea! So glad it turned out so nicely. The colors are great…. they should last outside for a LONG time after all you did to them. 🙂

  23. May 5, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Love the transformation! Thanks for sharing at the Friday at the Fire Station link-up!

  24. July 24, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    These look great. I would have never thought to turn indoor furniture to outdoor with the exterior paint. What a brilliant idea! So glad you shared this.

  25. August 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    That is an amazing transformation! Great way to use old furniture you can’t use inside. Visiting from Friday at the Firestation party.

    • August 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much Victoria, have a great weekend!

  26. September 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    These look so good! I love the color scheme of it all. Too cute!

    • September 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you so much Crystal!

  27. September 14, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Those are gorgeous!! What a wonderful idea to re-purpose indoor furniture for outside.

    • September 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Thank you, have a great weekend!

  28. November 11, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Those turned out gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us on the Homestead Blog Hop

  29. February 13, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Oh wow what an amazing transformation, I love the colours you chose. #DreamTeam

  30. February 16, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Great job! I love the end result, I bet your poor arms hurt just thinking about it now though haha! #ThatFridayLinky

    • February 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Oh for sure, wow I am definitely going to invest in a sprayer before I tackle a project this big again!

  31. February 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

    So pretty! You did a great job there. Love the new colors. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

  32. Dee
    April 28, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Quick question I found an address old set … your post didn’t say anything about sanding it before the Kiltz and the painting. Is that correct .., (I would love this get out of sanding this set) Thank you in advance.

    • April 29, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Hi Dee, yep I did sand them first but I just did a quick pass with my orbital palm sander, nothing too serious. Thank you for coming by!

  33. April 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    how much sanding to remove the staim and varish did you get down to the bare wood. your project is beautiful

    • April 7, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Rita I would say it was a full three hours with an hour each of fine medium and hard grit. It was rough! Thanks for coming by!

  34. Karen
    April 27, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Hi there! I’m starting on the set I purchased last year. My question is about sanding. I have 6 pieces. Did you sand it all off or just rough it up? I’m trying to figure out my game plan! Lol.

    • April 27, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Karen because I was painting it anyway I just roughed it up and got anything that was hanging off. Just be sure any paint that remains is REALLY on there and you’re good to go!

  35. Jeff
    June 8, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Love this idea. I have always thought about a set like this painted for the cottage, but didn’t think about it for outside. It’s been several years now – how has it held up? Any regrets? Thanks for the inspiration!

    • June 8, 2022 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Jeff, thank you for checking out my project! Unfortunately, even having used the most expensive outdoor sealer I could find the weather we have here in northern MN meant all my hard work barely lasted a year. They found a great home in our garage seating area though for parties etc.

Leave a Comment